Copycats

“There are no original ideas….”

is the perfect lead-in for this post. I’ve been itching to try Dan’s Baba Ghanoush recipe since he mentioned it a few weeks ago in his post. I picked up 3 beautiful Sicilian eggplants on Saturday at the Farm and had them earmarked for the Babah, as Dan calls it.

Sicilian eggplants getting ready for the oven

I had hoped to prepare them on the grill to ensure the yummy smokiness Dan wrote about. But alas the weather did not cooperate with said plan and I wound up roasting them in the oven. I will readily admit that I am NOT experienced with eggplant prep, so I had to do some research in addition to following Dan’s recipe. Eggplant and I are not simpatico.

You hear a lot about bitterness in eggplants, and the need to salt and/or drain them as part of the preparation process. Large seeds are typically an indicator of bitterness. Since these eggplants were super fresh and had small seeds (see photo above), I chose to skip salting and draining them. I lined a baking sheet with foil, and rubbed it with a small amount of olive oil. For the eggplants, I cut off the tops and sliced them in half, scored the flesh side, placed them on the baking sheet and roasted at 475F for about 35-40 minutes.

Roasting eggplants, like buns in the oven

I let the eggplants cool and then followed the recipe from Claudia Roden’s  “The New Book Of Middle Eastern Cooking.” I wound up doubling the recipe because I had about 4 pounds of eggplant. As an aside, I felt quite diligent because I used my recently purchased Escali scale to weight them in advance. Handy purchase.

Verdict: Very tasty eggplant dish, absolutely no bitterness, so good call not to salt/drain.

Today’s Lunch: Raw veggies, sliced baguette and homemade Babah Ghanoush

But I didn’t achieve the much-desired smokiness that comes with grilling. I read on The Shiksa’s blog that you CAN achieve that smokiness in the oven if you roast a few minutes longer than you think you need to. Must try that next time. Eggplant and I will become BFF.

2 thoughts on “Copycats

  1. That looks like a delicious lunch! I’m completely nuts for Baba Ghanoush. I would eat to for breakfast if it had more protein in it!

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